This bold comedy of shy lovers is René Clair’s silent masterpiece, folding the avant-garde and the comic into a delightful, expertly judged tale of provincial romance and misapprehension.
When a shy, inexperienced lawyer called Frémissin defends M. Garadoux, against charges that he has ill-treated his wife, Frémissin fails miserably and Garadoux is sentenced to prison. Two years pass and Frémissin falls in love with the beautiful Cécile, attempting to win her affection. But when, Garadoux, now a widower, is released from prison he asks Cécile's father, M. Thibaudier, for Cécile's hand against her will ...
With LES DEUX TIMIDES Clair takes what could be a Max Linder scenario of a young middle-class man overcoming obstacles in pursuit of a pretty girl, merges it with Chaplinesque outsider charm and then punctuates it with Keystone-quality chaos. This lavish new restoration of this sublime farce (courtesy of Cinémathèque Française) however, reveals it as a silent comedy classic in its own right.
With an introduction by film historian Kevin Brownlow and live musical accompaniment by Guenter A. Buchwald, Romano Todesco and Frank Bockius.